Remembering CIA’s Heroes: Rachel A. Dean
This is a part of our series about CIA employees who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Here we will look at the lives of the men and women who have died while serving their country.
Currently, there are 89 stars carved into the marble of the CIA Memorial Wall. The wall stands as a silent, simple memorial to those employees “who gave their lives in the service of their country.” The CIA has released the names of 54 employees; the names of the remaining 35 officers must remain secret, even in death.
Dedication. Energy. Enthusiasm. These are just a few words that apply to Rachel Dean. In September 2006, Rachel, an Agency support officer, died in a traffic accident while on temporary duty overseas.
Rachel was born in Portsmouth, Virginia. Her father was on active duty with the US Navy, so she grew up experiencing life overseas. She attended Randolph Macon Women’s College, majoring in International Studies. During her junior year, Rachel studied abroad for a semester in Athens, Greece. Along with her course work, Rachel was active in several service organizations. And in 2003, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Rachel joined the CIA in January 2005, having earned a place in the Directorate of Support. From the start, Rachel was a hard worker, with a warm and caring personality. Her colleagues described her as the glue that held the team together. She was always eager to volunteer for an extra task.
Even though her time at the CIA was brief, her contributions were significant. Her profound commitment to mission and to colleagues remains a powerful source of inspiration. In November 2006, during a private ceremony, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Hayden, presented Rachel’s parents with their daughter’s Exceptional Service Medal, which recognizes an employee’s injury or death resulting from service in a hazardous area.
Afterward, the Dean family joined more than 500 officers at a memorial event for Rachel. During the opening remarks, the mistress of ceremonies said, “During this ceremony you will hear expressions of gratitude and praise for Rachel’s actions, as well as admiration for her boundless energy and enthusiasm … While our words will never fully capture the amazing person that Rachel was, or the immense sorrow that we feel at her passing, we offer these words as part of the debt of remembrance we owe to Rachel.”
The CIA honored Rachel with a star on the Agency’s Memorial Wall in 2006. Her name is also included in the CIA Book of Honor.